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Dr. Thomas A Swift Nature Program

Nature Kindergarten

How is it different?

  • Your child will be outside for up to two and a half hours daily. (Increased over time)
  • Students will be required to walk up to two km a day. (Increased over time)
  • Many learning activities and themes will take place in both the outdoors and the indoors. Our learning will be “place based” and directed by the children’s interest.
  • There are many community partners that your child will learn from.

How is it the same?

  • Follows the provincial curriculum
  • Parental involvement is encouraged
  • Similar expectations and goals

The Ideal Nature K Student:

  • Is a good listener and can follow instructions
  • Likes to participate
  • Is accepting of new experiences and challenges
  • Enjoys the outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • Is able to walk up to 2km a day
  • Will be dressed appropriately for all kinds of weather

5 Things To Do With Your Child This Summer To Prepare Them For Nature Kindergarten:

  1. Get outside in nature.
  2. Go for regular walks.
  3. Practice putting on gear and dressing themselves (doing up zippers etc.)
  4. Read and talk every day to your child.
  5. Have fun and play!

Nature K includes regular classroom time and instruction and provides the full kindergarten curriculum.

Supply List for Nature K and Nature 1

Dr. T.A. Swift 2017-18

Nature Kindergarten and Nature Grade One Outdoor Classroom:

  • 1 Pair of running shoes for indoors to leave at school (must be Velcro or slip on and have non-marking soles, please label with your child’s name)
  • 1 A large sized back pack for carrying items to and from school (please
  • Label with your child’s name on the inside)
  • 1 lunch kit (please label)
  • 1 water bottle for their lunch kit (please label)
  • 1 magnifying glass (please label)
  • To Go Kit (Put in a waterproof/ziploc bag then in small outdoor backpack which we have):
  • Daily snack (protein bar, dried fruit, whole apple etc.) *This will be later in the year when we are outside for longer periods of time.
  • Tissue (small packs)
  • Water Bottle – Child friendly but does not leak (easy to open)

Clothing: Our goal is that your child remain warm and dry so that they enjoy the outdoors!


  • Waterproof Rain pants from Mountain Equipment Co-op or Oakiwear  (black) or other similar brand. They must have a closure at the bottom (velcro or elastic) DO NOT buy the Kamic brand as the cotton lining gets very wet.. (stays at school)
  • A waterproof raincoat (big enough to layer underneath) from Oakiwear or Mountain Equipment with cinching at the wrist.
  • Warm waterproof winter jacket (Remember we are outside for many hours). An example would be Columbia Omnitech.
  • Insulated Rain Boots (we would suggest rubber and not neoprene, from Bog or other high quality outdoor company (Stays at school)
  • Thermal socks made from wool or smart wool (eave them at school to wear in rain boots)
  • A long sleeved shirt (not cotton) for the really cold days. This is called a base layer
  • Fleece top with a zipper or thin down packable coat (or a wool sweater that is too big and felted in the dryer! You can find them in the second hand shops)
  • Fleece or wool toque
  • Winter Gloves/Mittens - good quality (easy to pick stuff up with)
  • Multiple pairs of inexpensive gloves.
  • A neck tube or scarf for those really cold days!

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.”

Luther Burbank, American Botanist